PopTech Blog

Posts by Ollie Wilder

Social Innovation Fellows nominations are open

The Social Innovation Fellows program represents PopTech’s deep commitment to innovation. Through the achievements of our Fellows and their organizations, our entire community is enriched, inspired and provided opportunities to engage in unique, cutting edge work that is changing the way we think, work and create impact.

Our goal is to bring together a group of extraordinary leaders, and we need your help to find them.

2013 PopTech Social Innovation Fellows

Do you know someone doing exceptional work on critical issues in the U.S., or around the world? We’re looking for people working in fields such as livelihoods, healthcare, energy, green technology, environment, education, performing arts and other areas with significant social impacts.

The strongest candidates are working on truly new approaches, have at least early positive results and a promising path to scale, and have a passion for collaboration.

They may be developing new platforms that can be applied in a variety of settings, or creating new models for getting a crucial benefit to where it is most needed, or designing for impact through invention, measurement and rigorous testing.

Check out the call for nominations, and nominate someone today!

Nominations will be open through April 1, 2014. The PopTech Social Innovation Fellows program is generously supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Geographic, Omidyar Network, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Toyota.

Photo: Thatcher Cook for PopTech

Bellagio/PopTech Fellows nominations are open

PopTech and the Rockefeller Foundation are proud to announce the 2014 call for nominations for a unique joint Fellows program focused on unconventional collaboration.

The Bellagio/PopTech Fellows program brings together five to six individuals from diverse backgrounds for a two-week immersion at the Rockefeller Foundation’s renowned Bellagio Center on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. The program’s first set of Fellows brought many new insights to bear on using big data to enhance community resilience.

The 2014 program is focused on reinventing and democratizing livelihoods. The Fellows will explore how global economies are changing, the potential benefits and challenges of moving from big manufacturing to a distributed model, the opportunities unlocked by the emergence of sharing economies, and how to ensure citizens, in particular poor and vulnerable populations, are well prepared to participate in these ever-changing contexts.

This effort will be creative, interdisciplinary and collaborative – providing an environment where emerging tools, approaches and solutions are viewed as an art as much as a science.

The Bellagio Center

The program is seeking candidates from relevant fields such as design, economics, technology, art and social innovation. A diverse cohort of Fellows will be chosen for their technical and creative excellence and their demonstrated ability to work and think across disciplines.

Know someone who might be a good fit? Nominations will be accepted through January 30, 2014, via the online nomination form. Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by someone else. Eligibility details are available on the call for nominations web page.

At PopTech: Communities, data, and ethical resilience

How could communities make better use of big data to enhance their resilience?

The six Bellagio/PopTech Fellows convened this past August at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center to look deeply at how data can help communities bounce back in the face of key stresses — environmental, political, social and economic.

Bellagio Fellows

Building on their multidisciplinary backgrounds, and spurred on by several catalysts, the Fellows created a fresh approach that emphasizes ethics as a central — and often overlooked — factor.

Today, at PopTech, the Fellows announced “Big Data, Communities and Ethical Resilience: A Framework for Action,” which outlines the interplay of six key domains, including ethics, governance, science, technology, place and sociocultural context.

The framework is already generating original ideas on how communities can more appropriately sense, analyze and utilize data, while respecting the autonomy and privacy of community members. We are excited to share the Fellows’ vision, and look forward to the practical applications that are beginning to emerge.  



Introducing the 2013 PopTech Fellows

PopTech’s Fellows programs aim to accelerate the impact of emerging innovators and scientists, who are working to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The 2013 classes of Social Innovation Fellows and Science Fellows provide another big dose of inspiration. From human rights to clean energy, financial inclusion to data security, and from health care analysis and empowerment to soft robotics, they are tackling big questions and goals that can make a major positive difference to society and the planet.

SI

Check out the cutting-edge work of the new PopTech Social Innovation Fellows and PopTech Science Fellows.

science

Both classes of Fellows head to Maine in October for an intensive training program with expert faculty in order to concentrate on areas of importance to their endeavors. The Social Innovation Fellows focus on scaling their work by gaining new skills and visibility while the Science Fellows focus on becoming more effective communicators, collaborators and leaders both within and beyond academia. Both classes of Fellows form extensive networks of ongoing mutual support and mentorship that provide long-term benefits after their retreat.

Join us to hear them present at PopTech 2013: ”Sparks of Brilliance,” Oct. 24 to 26 in Camden, Maine. 

The Social Innovation Fellows and Science Fellows programs are generously supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Omidyar Network, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and National Geographic.

We look forward to seeing exciting collaborations and major results from these amazing new classes of PopTech Fellows!

Front page photo credit: Peter Durand

PopTech's 2013 Social Innovation Fellows nominations open

Nominations are now open for the 2013 PopTech Social Innovation Fellows program, so it's time to put on your thinking caps.

Do you know somebody who has a big idea, has started to demonstrate significant positive impact and has a smart strategy for reaching scale? That's who we're looking for, and we need you to help us find them.

Fellows

The strongest candidates are great leaders and collaborators working in critical fields such as energy, green technology, climate change resilience, healthcare, the environment, performing arts, water, education and other areas with significant beneficial impacts. Those chosen as Fellows will participate in a five-day training and the PopTech conference this October, and will gain new skills, visibility and connections to help accelerate their path to greater impact. 

Check out the call for nominations for more details, and have a look at our past Fellows — such as the class of 2012 —for some inspiring examples. Then head on over to the nomination form where you can nominate someone else, or (be bold!) yourself.

We're grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Geographic, Omidyar Network, the Rita Allen Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their generous support of the Social Innovation Fellows program.

Nominations will be open through April 2, and you can email fellows [at] poptech [dot] org with any questions about the program or the nomination process.

Photo by Agaton Strom for PopTech

Bellagio/PopTech Fellows nominations open!

PopTech and the Rockefeller Foundation are proud to announce the call for nominations for a unique joint Fellows program focused on unconventional collaboration.

The Bellagio/PopTech Fellows program will bring together four to six individuals from diverse backgrounds for a two-week immersion residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s renowned Bellagio Center on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.Bellagio campus

This year’s program will focus on building community resilience through the use of data science, visualization, and distributed information technologies. Fellows will explore the extent to which big data and related technology can be used to enhance psychological, social and systemic resilience worldwide. This effort will be creative, interdisciplinary and collaborative – providing an environment where emerging tools, approaches and solutions are viewed as an art as much as a science.

The program is seeking candidates from the fields of data and data visualization, technology, design, art, social and natural sciences, resilience research, and other social domains. A diverse cohort of Fellows will be chosen for their technical and creative excellence and their demonstrated ability to work and think across disciplines.

Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by someone else. Eligibility details are available on the call for nominations web page.

Know someone who might be a good fit? Nominations will be accepted through March 1, 2013, and can be submitted via the online nomination form

Watch the 2012 PopTech Fellows on stage

A highlight of PopTech’s fall conference is when each PopTech Social Innovation and Science Fellow takes the stage in Camden to showcase his or her own work. The raw ingenuity is on full display: reducing malaria by rendering mosquitos infertile, storing digital data in DNA, untangling the evolutionary tree of life, dispatching drones to deliver medicine, and creating nimble new companies with millions of employees but zero managers.

Those presentations are now available online.

Regardless of the caliber of these eye-popping breakthroughs, it is a huge leap to move a fledgling effort into a program that might help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. And these kinds of visionaries too often labor in relative isolation, without the benefit of a network of experts and supporters who can help equip an innovator with the skills and connections critical for making that great leap.

PopTech’s Fellows programs provide multifaceted training from a network of established leaders with broad experience ranging from building effective organizations to fundraising to communications the very skills required to launch innovations to the next level. The nucleus of the Fellows program is the unique opportunity to connect with like-minded peers and enjoy one-on-one access to experienced mentors.

Enjoy their Camden presentations and keep an eye on PopTech as we follow their adventures.

Introducing the Science Fellows Class of 2012

How can we better understand ocean ecosystems, encourage human cooperation, build resilience in the face of climate change, prevent malaria and make mental health care a global priority? The 2012 PopTech Science Fellows are bringing strong leadership to these challenges and many more, and we are proud to introduce them today.

The PopTech Science Fellows program is a unique leadership development opportunity designed to help high potential working scientists become more effective communicators, collaborators and leaders both within and beyond the traditional bounds of academia. Fellows learn key skills from a faculty of experts, form an extensive network of mutual support, and play a highly visible role within the PopTech global community of innovators.

Meet the Science Fellows Class of 2012:

  • Kelly Benoit-Bird, an oceanographer at Oregon State University, applies acoustics to the study of ecosystems in the open ocean.
  • Flaminia Catteruccia is a molecular entomologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, specializing in the reproductive biology of Anopheles mosquitoes, the only mosquitoes capable of transmitting human malaria.
  • Sriram Kosuri is a biological engineer at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, developing next-generation DNA synthesis technologies.
  • Thaddeus Pace is a biological psychologist at Emory University, exploring how compassion meditation and other complementary practices may improve the health and well-being of children and adults in challenging circumstances.
  • David Rand is a behavioral scientist at Yale University, using a deeply interdisciplinary approach to understand human cooperation, generosity and altruism.
  • Giuseppe “Bepi” Raviola is a psychiatrist with Partners In Health, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, working to integrate mental health services into global health care efforts.
  • John Rinn is a biologist at Harvard and the Broad Institute, researching how “junk genes” actually play key regulatory roles in human health and disease.
  • Leila Takayama is a research scientist with Willow Garage, focused on understanding how humans interact with robots.
  • Tiffani Williams is a computer scientist at Texas A&M University, creating algorithmic tools to reconstruct the Tree of Life, which depicts the evolutionary connections among the world's species.
  • Benjamin Zaitchik is a climate scientist at Johns Hopkins University, researching ways to understand, manage and cope with climatic and hydrologic variability.

The Fellows will join us in Maine in mid-October for a three-day intensive training session, and then go on to introduce their work on stage at PopTech 2012, giving their work greater visibility and finding new opportunities for collaboration and to engage the public in science.

The PopTech Science Fellows program is generously supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and National Geographic.

Announcing the Social Innovation Fellows Class of 2012

PopTech is delighted to announce the Social Innovation Fellows Class of 2012!

The members of this year’s class are addressing major global challenges by connecting health workers, bringing clean water to children, building farmers’ incomes, using unmanned aerial vehicles for remote deliveries of medical supplies, fighting for Internet privacy, and much more. Their work has impacted lives around the world, in places like Kenya, China, Ghana, Liberia and Haiti, as well as throughout the United States.

Meet this year’s inspiring Fellows:

  • Jamila Abass is CEO of MFarm, which uses mobile technology to help farmers increase their incomes.
  • Lukas Biewald is CEO and founder of CrowdFlower, a crowdsourcing internet company that breaks large digital projects into small microtasks and distributes them to workers around the world.
  • Rachel Brown founded Sisi ni Amani - Kenya to pioneer the use of mobile technology to get the right communication capacity into the hands of local peacebuilders, enabling communities to participate in democratic processes and prevent violence.
  • Bryan Doerries is the founder of Theater of War, a project that presents readings of ancient Greek plays to service members, veterans, caregivers and families to help them start talking about the challenges faced by military communities today.
  • Touré McCluskey is the founder of OkCopay, a unique search engine for medical procedures that helps Americans with inadequate insurance find affordable local health care.
  • Nicholas Merrill created the Calyx Institute to educate the public regarding the lack of privacy in telecommunications and to develop the infrastructure to implement secure mobile phone and Internet services in a way that has not been done before.
  • Jacobo Quintanilla works with Internews supporting local media in enabling people in the midst of disasters to access the information they need and to take an active role in their own survival and recovery.
  • Andreas Raptopoulos is the founder and CEO of Matternet, building a network of unmanned aerial vehicles to transport medicine and goods in places with poor road infrastructure.
  • Aishwarya Ratan is director of the Global Financial Inclusion Initiative at Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action, with a goal of ensuring that the financial products, services and tools available to the poor to manage and grow their money are affordable, efficient, secure and welfare-enhancing.
  • Eric Stowe believes that every child has a right to clean water; to act on that belief, he founded A Child’s Right (soon to be Splash), which cleans water for over 200,000 children in schools, orphanages, street shelters, hospitals, and rescue homes in Asia and East Africa.
  • Eric Woods is the CEO and founder of Switchboard, which uses mobile phones to create nationwide networks of health workers in developing countries.
  • Daniel Zoughbie created Microclinic International to leverage the power of social network relationships to spread healthy behaviors throughout under-resourced communities.


The Fellows will participate in an intensive five-day training just prior to this year’s Oct. 17-20 PopTech conference, and present their ideas on stage to conference participants and viewers of the worldwide webcast, helping them build new skills, contacts and visibility.

The Social Innovation Fellows program is generously supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and National Geographic.

We are delighted to have these extraordinary leaders joining the PopTech network, and look forward to accompanying them on their journey as the impact of their work grows and spreads.

What makes the strongest Social Innovation Fellow nominations?

Nominations for the PopTech Social Innovation Fellows program opened earlier this month. Whether you’re nominating yourself or someone else, how can you best make the case?

Based on past years’ most compelling nominations, here are some helpful tips:

  • Give specific examples of the nominee’s leadership and collaborative success.
  • Describe clearly the central innovation and how it has begun to prove its impact. Why is this a breakthrough idea? What demonstrates that it really works?
  • Indicate the most promising path and potential timeframe for reaching scale and sustainability. How many people could be reached, how, and when?
  • Include a personal highlight or two to help reveal the nominee’s passion, dedication and other key qualities.

We need your help identifying the strongest candidates for this year’s class of Fellows. Please have a look at the call for nominations and submit your nominations any time between now and April 3, 2012.

Image: captain.orange